For several posts now I’ve been talking about family devotions. (Click here and here to view these posts.) I thought it would be beneficial to share with you several practical examples of a few families methods for having time together with Jesus. First, I’ll share with you what family devotions in the Hunter home look like.
As you know, Matt and I were blessed with our little girl in December. We have LOVED being parents and enjoyed little Abigail more and more each day. Abby and I have our own devotions during the day while Matt is at work, and we also have time with Matt in the evening. As I answer these questions, I’ll be sharing specifics from both times with you.
How often does your family have devotions together?
Abigail and I spend time with Jesus together five days a week. As a family, we probably average twice a week.
How long do you spend per devotion?
Both times are between 20 and 30 minutes.
What type of resources do you use?
Abigail was born on December 30. The Sunday following her birth, our pastor encouraged our entire church to commit to read through the Bible in a year. Matt received an ESV one year Bible for Christmas, so I thought that Abs and I could through the Bible together the first year of her life. We haven’t been on schedule the whole time, but we are plodding through it faithfully!
As a family we are using the same Bible to read each day. Since we only read a few days a week, it will take us quite a bit longer, but the benefits are still there!
We’ve also read from John McArthur’s Daily Readings from the Life of Christ. This is a great little book with a one page Scripture/meditation for the day. We read and discuss the theme and how it applies to our life.
A kid’s Bible that I have fallen completely in love with is the Jesus Storybook Bible. I’ll probably do a separate book review on this Bible soon because there is too much to say about it here. If you’re looking for a great kids resource though, check this one out. It is amazing!!
Describe a typical family devo time together.
I read the daily section of our one year Bible to Abigail while I’m nursing. When she was first born though, I would lay her in the bed next to me in the mornings and read out loud to her. Often she would fall asleep, but hopefully she was dreaming about Jesus! We then pray together and sing a few Bible songs. She loves “Happy All the Time” and “I’m in the Lord’s Army” mostly because of the hand motions (which are, unfortunately, not shown on these videos).
In the evenings, Matt and I take turns reading out loud. We then share prayer requests and pray together. Sometimes Abigail is in bed by this point (since Matt’s schedule is so inconsistent). When she isn’t, I hold her in my lap to keep her quiet.
How do you make application to your kids?
Children understand far more than some people give them credit. Whenever we’re reading, we try to make application to Abs about a truth. We usually just say a sentence or two, but I want her to begin early to see that the Bible is applicable to her. For example, the one year Bible pulls a section out of the new testament, old testament, Proverbs, and Psalms. We spent quite a bit of time in the gospels. If we read a story about Jesus healing someone, I would say, “Abigail, see? Jesus is powerful and can heal people when they are sick.” Or if we read a story in the OT about Israel’s sin I might say, “Abigail, God hated Aiken’s sin when he stole and lied to God. God hates it when we sin too. That’s why we always need to obey God and our mommy and daddy.” Proverbs (my favorite Bible book) always has an application. ” ‘Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding.’ See, Abigail? Wisdom is important to God. We need to seek after His wisdom everyday.”
Has your family changed the way you do devotions together as your kids have become older?
Well, not yet! But we will, I’m sure as Abigail grows and, Lord willing, more children come!
Any other words of wisdom to encourage other families?
Beginning family devos is the hardest step. Start small and commit to consistency. God will bless! In looking around for ideas for these posts, I came across an interview with John Piper about his way of doing family devotions. Check out this article for his ideas and method.